Cyber-Diplomacy: Managing Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 216
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Mass communications and advances in communications technology pose fundamental challenges to the traditional conduct of diplomacy by reducing hierarchy, promoting transparency, crowding out secrecy, mobilizing global social movements, and increasing the importance of public diplomacy in international relations. But the primary source of change, the force that acts as a common denominator and accelerates other changes, is communications and information technology (CIT). Where nations were once connected through foreign ministries and traders, they are now linked to millions of individuals by fibre optics, satellite, wireless, and cable in a complex network without central control. These trends have resulted in considerable speculation about the future of diplomacy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7036-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
    Evan H. Potter
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-26)

    Although Marshall McLuhan’s global village has not entirely taken the place of the nation-state, today’s villages are so thoroughly interconnected that the Westphalian world that gave rise to modern diplomacy is less and less recognizable.¹ Global mass communications and advances in new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are posing a fundamental challenge to the traditional conduct of international relations by dispersing authority to multiple terrains, increasing the activism of a global civil society, and driving the expansion of global finance and trade. If, as Canadian scholar Harold Innis observed a half century ago, “sudden extensions of communication are reflected in...

  6. 1 Hyper-Realities of World Politics: Theorizing the Communications Revolution
    (pp. 27-47)

    We live in a world deeply saturated with new technologies of digitalelectronic telecommunications, what I callhypermedia.¹ Most everyone senses that these technologies are transforming economics, society, and politics. Yet beyond this intuitive feeling that change is occurring, there is wide disagreement over its precise direction or nature. Such disagreement is fuelled by two factors: widespread speculation on the implications of hypermedia coupled with the radical explosion in the means of disseminating such opinions to a global audience. One of the consequences of the “democratization” of mass broadcasting unleashed by the World Wide Web, in other words, is that anyone...

  7. 2 New Technologies and Networks of Resistance
    (pp. 48-82)

    While transnational political activity by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has long had an impact on world politics, it has only been in recent years that its importance has become undeniable. While figures vary, they all portray a veritable explosion in the numbers and activities of transnational NGOs and transnational social movement organizations (TSMOs). It is estimated that the number of international NGOs in the 1990s increased from 6,000 to 26,000.¹ Rare is the international issue that does not attract a transnational network of NGOs, TSMOs, and informal associations that organize and mobilize to express their point of view. Examples abound: the...

  8. 3 Real-Time Diplomacy: Myth and Reality
    (pp. 83-109)

    This chapter explores the effects global communication is having on the conduct of contemporary diplomacy. It focuses primarily on global television networks, such as Cable News Network (CNN), and not on the new media. However, the difference between television and the new media will soon be moot. With the convergence of technologies, television will be the Internet and the Internet will be television. Thus, the findings and conclusions of this study should be relevant and valid for both present and future cyber-diplomacy.

    The termdiplomacyhas been used interchangeably to describe foreign policy in general, one of several instruments of...

  9. 4 The New Media and Transparency: What Are the Consequences for Diplomacy?
    (pp. 110-127)

    In the early years of the twentieth-first century, several developments in information technology promise to further the latest phase of an electronic revolution in diplomacy that began with the development of global, real-time television two decades earlier.¹ Firstly, smaller, lightweight satellite phones, cameras, and satellite up-link equipment will diminish the costly logistical challenges now associated with gathering and transmitting live video images from remote locations. Secondly, commercial, high-resolution remote-sensing satellites will democratize spying from space, providing many nations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, and even individuals with surveillance capabilities that were once the sole preserve of a handful of government security...

  10. 5 Snapshots of an Emergent Cyber-Diplomacy: The Greenpeace Campaign against French Nuclear Testing and the Spain-Canada “Fish War”
    (pp. 128-150)

    This chapter offers two discrete snapshots of the emergent use of cyber-diplomacy as a distinctive component of a technologically oriented diplomacy. The first case focuses on the techniques of new information and communications deployed by Greenpeace in its campaign against French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. As an example of political mobilization around a single issue, in which publicity played a key role, this campaign proved extremely successful. In the absence of an effective information and communication response from the French government, Greenpeace was able to frame the issue essentially on its own terms. Largely through the use of...

  11. 6 The New Diplomacy: Real-Time Implications and Applications
    (pp. 151-176)

    Stripped to its essentials, the art of diplomacy is based on the strategic gathering, assessment, and dissemination of information. Information, whether confidential or public, is the lifeblood of diplomatic negotiation – whatever the medium. Driven by its electronic counterpart, the diplomatic circuit is in the early stages of an important period of change.

    Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have farreaching implications for the practice of diplomacy and the international environment. Written, voice, and visual interactions facilitated through ICTs are changing the way diplomatic organizations gather, assess, and disseminate information. Many time-honoured protocols, reaching back to the medieval era and before, require...

  12. 7 Information Technology and Canada’s Public Diplomacy
    (pp. 177-200)

    By the early 1990s a number of related forces – globalization, the information revolution, the end of the Cold War, and the growing democratization of international relations – together challenged traditional notions of diplomatic conduct, perhaps none more so than public diplomacy. This new world privileged persuasion, openness, engagement, and coalition building rather than the brute use of force. The objective was attraction, the creation of willing followers, rather than coercion. Around this time, the termsoft powerwas coined by American political scientist Joseph Nye, to describe the use of ideas and knowledge to confer international influence: In the wired world...

  13. Index
    (pp. 201-208)